KIDSMOKE – Save Your Sorrow EP
Release date: 09th June 2017
Written and performed by: Kidsmoke
Engineered and Mastered by: Russ Hayes (Orange Sound Studios, Penmaenmawr)
Artwork / Design by: Mike Payne and Andy Garside
Writing/Recording feat. Sophie:
We tend to write in our rehearsal space in Wrexham, usually starting with musical ideas from James and lyrics from Lance – we then sort out structures, harmonies, rhythms etc, and flesh out the rest track until we’ve got something we love. We always try to bring tried and tested, gig-worthy songs into the studio – but it’s also a great thing to see a track develop even further as you record it.
The ‘Save Your Sorrow’ EP is a collection of songs we’ve been working on for the last 12 months or so – we were lucky enough to receive a Horizons Launchpad grant from BBC Radio Wales/Cymru in order to record and produce it, which was obviously a huge help. Working with Russ at Orange studios was an absolute dream, he is a consummate professional and all-round excellent guy. We had a lot of fun with him and his enthusiasm for the tracks really comes across in the final mixes.
Track by Track feat. James and Lance:
See The World
Lance: The lyrics for ‘See The World’ were written around the time of Brexit and although I wasn’t consciously trying to write a song about it, it clearly had an impact on me. You couldn’t escape it, and the comments that were being banded around social media were genuinely scary. The lyrics were just my response to the insular views people were expressing at that time.
James: This song has been knocking around for almost 10 years in various forms. I’m still not sure what the tuning is. There was a big My Bloody Valentine influence in terms of the chord sequence, it turned out very pop in the end.
And Mine Alone
Lance: The music for ‘And Mine Alone’ is really poppy and joyous so I wanted to write the lyrics in a way that made it sound like a love song. In reality the song is about a person close to me, who is stuck in a rut and letting their time slip by.
James: This was inspired, I think, from Under The Sun by Diiv. It’s definitely a track for summertime.
Lance: ’Waves’ is about becoming tired of being someone’s shoulder to cry on, when they are not willing to help themselves. Being torn between wanting to be there for them and wanting to put yourself first for a change.
James: There’s a game called Life Is Strange which is very over the top EMO. I started playing the verse chords as a joke Life Is Strange soundtrack song. It turned out a worthwhile exercise.
Lance: This is a really personal song about a friend who isn’t around anymore. This person was a real life and soul of the party type character, so when I heard the news it was such a shock. It was something that didn’t have to happen, and this is me wondering if I could have done anything to help.
James: This started out as a slow waltz, very Neil Young. It wasn’t really a Kidsmoke song until it was sped up.
Lance: I was away abroad with some friends when I wrote the lyrics for ‘Seabirds’. It’d been a really late one, and I was at the beach watching the sun come up. In front of me was this stunning view but I felt a real emptiness because I was missing my family. ‘Seabirds’ is basically a song about feeling really lucky that my family are always there for me.
James: I think I was listening to a lot of War on Drugs’ Lost In The Dream at the time. Not sure that carries into the final version. I wanted a chorus that opened up like Radioheads 1996 version of Lift.